January 25, 2021
should you set up your home gym in your garage? here's what you need to know
should you buy a peloton? here's how to decide
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I'm Mickie. I run One Strong Southern Girl from Small Town, TN. I love what I do. I want you to remember me because I helped changed your life.
We’ve been reviewing Beachbody home workout programs at One Strong Southern Girl for the last 5 years and honestly, we’ve been waiting for them to run out of ideas. But, alas, they haven’t. And #mbf and #mbfa are proof of it.
The Muscle Burns Fat (aka-#mbf) program, and its advanced partner #mbfa (Muscle Burns Fat Advanced), have a unique layout and workout style that’s not for everyone. In this honest review of the program we’ll tell you all about the workouts you’ll see over the 3 weeks of #mbf, what equipment you’ll need, what you need to know about Megan Davies (the instructor), how it compares to #mbfa (Muscle Burns Fat Advanced) and exactly who will love this program.
Here’s a peek at #mbf:
You’d have a hard time finding a female on the planet who’d say no to the stated goal of #mbf:
“Build muscle, burn fat. Turn your body into a calorie-torching machine. Super trainer Megan Davies created this 3-week, beginner strength-training and cardio program to be a simple, effective way to help get a lean, sexy, strong body.”–Beachbody, #mbf program description
I mean who doesn’t want a super trainer with a simple path to a lean, sexy body? Sign me up!
There are a few things that make this program different.
The structure of the program is unique (more about that below), but the first thing you’ll notice during your initial #mbf workout are all the home exercisers doing the routines with you.
During every workout you’ll see Megan Davies on the Beachbody set leading the routine. And her ‘team’ of exercisers are all joining her from their home gyms.
You’ll see (and hear) them all via a collection of monitors that represent each person and/or couple streaming themselves from their own locations.
I found this format a little strange.
It’s a popular format used by several different companies for streaming live workouts. So, I’d seen it used before but it was still a little jarring for me.
It’s definitely not a reason to avoid the program but I don’t think it enhanced the workouts in any way for me. (You might feel different.)
But it’s one of the things that makes #mbf different than any of the other programs by Beachbody.
You’ll find this same system used in #mbfa, as well.
Megan Davies is your official super trainer (instructor) of every #mbf and #mbfa workout.
This program was my first introduction to Megan Davies. You’ll love her authenticity and passion to push you through each workout.
There’s a 4-minute video where you can learn more about Megan under the ‘Start here’ tab of the program.
Megan’s team during all 3 weeks of each program (#mbf and #mbfa) are the same group of home exercisers. You’ll quickly pick out a favorite among them and find yourself interested in how they do every time you workout together.
There’s a modifier labeled in the group of home exercisers that you can follow in #mbf and #mbfa.
The #mbf and #mbfa programs are each 3 weeks long with one workout every day.
The routines are 25-35 minutes long in #mbf and 25-40 minutes long in #mbfa.
There are 4 dumbbell tracker worksheets that come with each program. You’ll use them to track your reps and progress for specific workouts in each program.
The workouts are a combination of cardio and strength training exercises.
There is music that plays during every #mbf and #mbfa workout but it’s used to keep the tempo (which is a good thing) and it won’t be why you like or dislike the program.
You’ll need a full range of light to heavy dumbbells to do all the routines in this program.
If you exercise at home on a hard surface then you’ll also need a mat.
Beachbody introduces a tool called a BOD rope that’s also used in each workout of #mbf and #mbfa.
The BOD rope is a cordless jump rope. It’s an optional piece of equipment.
I don’t have a BOD rope and don’t feel like it’s ever affected my results in any of the workouts. (Sometimes I hold an exercise tubing in my hands and swung the handles to mimic a BOD rope but most of the time I don’t use anything.)
One of my favorite things about this program is that you (probably) won’t need to move any furniture to do the exercises.
Megan does a great job of keeping every routine confined to a reasonable area.
If you have enough space to do forward, back and side lunges, a plank and jumping jacks then you have plenty of room to do #mbf and #mbfa. (If you have enough space to lie on the ground with your arms and legs completely extended away from you in every direction then you have plenty of room to do most of the exercises in the program.)
Beachbody recommends that you use one of their 2 nutrition plans with the #mbf and #mbfa program, 2B Mindset or the Ultimate Portion Fix.
At the time of this review, the program materials that are part of these nutrition plans are NOT included in a BOD membership. You’ll have to pay extra to access those.
However, under the ‘Program Materials’ tab for #mbf and #mbfa you will find an 84-page pdf, ‘Quick Start Nutrition Guide’ which does include a 1500 and 1800 calorie nutrition plan and recipes.
The style of routines is very similar.
The workouts in #mbfa are a natural progression forward from #mbf (the routines are a little longer and more intense).
If you’re an advanced exerciser you can start with the #mbfa routines. I actually like pairing one #mbf workout with one #mbfa routine.
The #mbf program is marketed as a ‘beginner strength trainer and cardio program’. But, in my opinion, these workouts are for men and women at any level of exercise ability. You can easily modify the routines to be at whatever level you are.
I do all the routines using the same weights as Megan and feel like the workouts are intermediate when done that way.
Be VERY careful if you’ve never done asymmetrical (one-sided) exercises or moves where you swing the dumbbells.
You’ll be doing dumbbell exercises on one side of the body at a time in several of the routines. And at times you’ll be swinging the dumbbells. If your form isn’t perfect or if you’re holding a dumbbell that’s too heavy you’ll quickly hurt yourself.*
*I hurt my back doing one of the exercises and was out of commission for a week.
The #mbfa program is a natural progression forward from #mbf and uses almost all the same exercises in the #mbf program (with a few additional ones) with some added intensity and cardio intervals.
Beachbody no longer sells their new programs as stand alone videos. You have to sign up for a membership to Beachbody on Demand to get access to #mbf and #mbfa.
You have 2 options for signing up.
You can choose a package like the ones below from the ‘shop’ tab on Beachbody’s home page. These packages include access to all of the workouts inside the Beachbody on Demand (BOD) library (including #mbf and #mbfa) as well as the Shakeology packs you see below. (You’ll also get a pair of BOD ropes if you sign up for one of the packages.)
Your second option is to sign up for the 14-day trial of Beachbody on Demand.* The #mbf and #mbfa programs are part of the library of workouts you’ll get with your membership. This option is around $100 for an annual membership (after the free trial).
*This is an affiliate link. I may receive a commission if you go on to pay for a membership after your free trial period.
Here’s what I really like about this program:
The team of home exercisers is very diverse. You’ll see every age, race and gender represented. You’ll also get a peek at the different ways people set up their home workout spaces.
I appreciated the fact that you don’t need a lot of equipment or room to do the exercises in this program. That’s always a plus for a home exerciser.
Megan Davies has a refreshing and unique workout style. I’m always happy to do new exercises and combinations.
The routines are an ideal length for anyone who’s just getting started. Almost anyone can envision setting aside 30-40 minutes to do a great workout.
I like this program for couples to do together. You’ll see several couples doing the workouts in the team of home exercisers and it works very well.
My favorite thing about the #mbf and #mbfa program was that you get cardio and weight training. Total body conditioning and results.
Personally, I thought there were a lot of worksheets to figure out. Once I understood how to use them I appreciated their value but a lot of people will perceive the worksheets as additional ‘homework’ or wonder if they’ll get the benefits of the program if they don’t want to do the tracking.
There’s a lot of repetition and a slow tempo in some of the routines. That can be a deadly combination for some people in a workout.
It’s easy to lose focus and get bored during routines where you repeat the same exercises and move at a slower speed so make sure you go into every workout with that in mind. You’ll need to stay laser focused to get the most out of the program (and avoid injury).
There are technically no rest days (if you follow the 3-week workout calendar exactly as it’s designed). Some people may not like that.
This is a win win. If you sign up for the free trial period of BOD and don’t love #mbf or #mbfa then you’ll have an entire collection of other incredible workout programs to choose from.
And if you’re looking for a streaming workout service that has as much variety as Beachbody then read this review.
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